By Mimansa Bagri, Batch of 2020
We watched her. We watched them. We watched as they dragged her drugged form mercilessly inside the temple. A man walked in, two, three, four, five people came in. We watched as they stood together and laughed at her shivering body. The oldest of them bent forward and kicked her, trying to get her back to her senses. “It’s going to be fun. Now, they’ll know who they are dealing with. Filthy rats all of them, trying to spoil our pure blood,” he spoke to his cronies. We watched him. We heard him. Oh, it would be fun alright.
She shouted, she screamed, she cried. Four days. It’d been four days since those monsters brought her in. Four days since they’d started coming in and using her, raping her. Four days of tortured desperate pleas which were impossible to unhear. We watched it all. We heard it all. “This is so much fun, Dad,” one said out loud as he discarded her drained body to the floor. Oh, it would be fun alright.
She loved riding horses. It gave her an uncharacteristic thrill as she rode them in the wilderness, away from her home. It was what she did daily. It was what she had to do daily. She never complained though, she liked to be around them. It was a part of her life as a nomad and she was happy to take those friendly beasts grazing. They were happy to be around her as well. Happy to be around the innocent little girl who jumped and played around as she let them have their meal of the day. The horses were content. She was content. We were content. But they weren’t.
They watched her everyday from afar as she brought the horses for grazing. They knew she was a frequent visitor and resident of these lands. They thought it would be easy to target her. She was but an eight year old. The Muslim nomad community would fear them and leave their lands once they killed her, they thought. They were going to instil a dreaded fear in every Muslim’s mind and would soon be able to claim those lands as theirs. They would do whatever it took to drive their point home, even if it meant using an innocent girl of eight, who wasn’t yet aware of the cruelty that other humans harboured. It was a war. A cold, ruthless, unsparing war between two religions trying to gain superiority and importance. If finishing off the entire religion was what it took to win, then they would do just that. They would kill them.
“It’s time,” one of them spoke out in a hushed whisper. It was over. They had their fun with her and now it was time to use her as a sacrifice. An eight year old girl, who meant no harm to the world was to be offered as a sacrifice to bring about the changes they’d fantasised about.
We’d been watching every single thing that those monsters were doing, we heard every single cry that rolled off that poor child’s mouth. For long we’d been playing the role of spectators and had just been witnessing everything that happened around in the temple. We watched people come and pray for their sick families, we heard their soft whimpers of distress as they looked at the idols in the temple with a eyes full of hope. But it was enough. We’d had enough. We had to do something to make those sickening monsters pay for what they did to that girl. We had to be more than just the silent walls of a temple.
We watched her. We watched them. We watched as they nodded to each other and picked her up. Pure agony was what we felt at the sight of her being strangled while we watched in helpless despair. One man, two, three men rubbed their vile hands all over her body as the others had her neck in a tight grip. She gasped for air and widened her eyes, trying to drag in small puffs of oxygen. Every ounce of her soul, and ours, was trying to plead her body to hold on for just a little more, to not shut down just yet.
But then they came. Two blows to the head and it all died down. The shouts, the screams, the cries, all quieted down as the sound of chilling silence reverberated in the tiny room. We could still hear her faint echoes, that rushed through us as currents and drifted off to a far-off place. They laughed. “Oh damn! It was so fun,” as they carried her lifeless figure to the culvert across the temple. It will take a little while, but we would make sure that it would be fun alright.
All the facts used in this article were taken from: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/india-asifa-rape-killing-girl-family-accused-180416070659470.html